Katharina Fritsch discovered her artistic vocation early in life. In 1979 she moved to Düsseldorf to study painting at the Kunstakademie, but it was not long before she started experimenting with sculpture, which became her primary medium. She has also occasionally ventured into sound art and the design of ideal architectural spaces. In the mid-1980s, Fritsch began to create site-specific sculptural installations, such as Elefant (1987), a work that was exhibited at the Kaiser Wilhelm Museum in Krefeld and brought her international attention. Since then her works have progressively gained greater symbolic density and monumentality. One piece that exemplifies these qualities is her famous Rat-King (1991–1993), a circle of sixteen black rats in painted polyester resin. The work was created for the Dia Center for the Arts in New York and has been shown at numerous museums around the world. Recurring themes in her oeuvre include popular culture (from which she draws much of her iconography), the problems raised by the public exhibition of art, the experience of visitors to shows, and the tension that arises between the visual appearance of art and its ultimate message. Katharina Fritsch lives and works in Düsseldorf.